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Back to FOT Glossary


NHTSA 100car study defines Incidents by: "Conflict requiring an evasive maneuver, but of lesser magnitude than a Near Crash".

Something unforeseen in the course of action. In driving a vehicle in traffic, something which changes the foreseeable action (speed, direction) of the vehicle. An accident, however, is an Incident with damage, a fatality is an Incident where human(s) are killed. In FOT-language possibly meant to not involve damage to differentiate from an accident. In a "near miss" something happened which by chance did not result in damage or injury.

Merriam-Webster gives in 2a) an occurrence of an action or situation that is a separate unit of experience. The "near miss" is given in def. 3) an action likely to lead to grave consequences.


"a vehicle is suddenly braking to avoid contact with the leading vehicle"

"a vehicle is suddenly swerving to avoid a cat crossing the street and barely avoids to hit the on-coming car"

" a vehicle is crashing into the leading vehicle with serious damage"

How to measure

Braking deceleration Histogramm of braking events for same driver (occurence vs. deceleration), incident braking is higher than x% of median (to detect incidents without collision and damage"

Swerving Histogramm of yaw rate for same driver (occurence vs. absolute yaw rate), incident swerving is higher than y% of median


Braking deceleration and yaw rate should be dependent on driver or driver type. Using the median for same driver should make the calibration automatic (unfortunately makes comparison a little nightmare).

Naming of incidents necessary to differentiate between with damage and without damage



Changed/Added by





-incomplete definition. Needs to be refined with other measures and, perhaps, timescale